Kemeny courtyard bee on a yellow flower close up
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Tins of Open Mindedness Photo with the Berry Library dedication plaque behind it
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The Potential of the Pew, using residential space intentionally

My Interfaith Living Learning Community (LLC) was quite busy this term. Our main project for the term was a partnership with an organization called Interfaith Photovoice. Each week we had different prompts that we had to respond to with 3-5 photos. Here are the prompts:

What do your beliefs, practices, and values look like in everyday life? 

What bridges to belief and belonging do you encounter in your daily life? And what barriers do you experience in your community? A bridge is something that enables you to flourish, whereas a barrier keeps you from flourishing. 

What changes would you like to see at Dartmouth to help everyone experience a sense of belonging?

We were also given a week where we could add additional photos from any of the prompts, and we were asked to title our photos and give them a caption. These photos then went on to be displayed at an exhibition in Baker-Berry Library for a few weeks. This was an opportunity for all six members of my LLC to express their worldview on campus in a brave and vulnerable manner. There were a few things that we wanted to bring to the attention of offices on campus, so our advisor invited Dining Services and Residential Life to attend the exhibition and hear from us.  

In our weekly meetings, we each talk about the photos we took and how they fit into the prompts. This led to us finding quite a few points of commonality in how we are experiencing our worldview on campus. A few especially notable points are students are busy with school that we do not have much time to practice and for some of us it is a bit challenging to get to a place designated for our worldview. One of my LLC friends drives 30 minutes to get to an Orthodox church. It is definitely possible and fairly easy to practice your worldview on campus; with our fast-paced terms paired with a rural campus, students plan accordingly.

I went into the project thinking that 3-5 photos a week would probably not be that challenging, but then I started thinking about the prompts more broadly and had the desire to come up with insightful responses. Frequently I would spend a good chunk of the week pondering my ideas and then in the last day or two, I would actually take the photos. My favorite part about this project was seeing that my peers in the LLC are going through experiences very similar to mine even though we have different worldviews.  

Over winterim (the break in between fall and winter term) the LLC read Interfaith Leadership by Eboo Patel and we also had weekly response questions in the winter term based on the book. Patel's book has been very helpful in informing the way I think about interfaith dialogue and coming up with the best ways to intentionally approach interfaith events.

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